Thursday, September 6, 2018


AMoNG THE early important Scotch-Irish families of Bernards and Bed
minster townships, Somerset County, was the Boylan family, which,
while large in Revolutionary days, began to migrate afterward, so that
scarcely any of the name now reside near their ancestral home. For
many of the following important particulars of this family we are in
debted to Mr. John F. Boylan, of Madison, N. J.; Miss Martha F.
Haywood and Mr. Rufus T. Boylan, of Raleigh, North Carolina; Mr.
John A. Powelson, of Pluckemin, N. J., and Mrs. Noyes R. Thomas, of
I. AARON BoyLAN came to N. J. from Coleraine, Ireland, date not
known, but probably about 1732. It is said he landed at Perth Amboy
and settled near Long Hill; if so, it could have been either in Somerset
or Morris county. A descendant thinks it was at Vealtown (Bernards
ville), but another informant states it was near Liberty Corner, in either
case Somerset. He is said to have been a pew holder, and perhaps mem
ber, of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian church. His date of birth is
placed conjecturally between 1710 and 1716. The fact that he came
from Coleraine with a brother James, and that the name of his wife was
Catherine Parkinson appears from a very brief sketch which his grandson,
William Boylan, of Raleigh, N. C., wrote out in 1833, and is all we know
of Aaron's origin:
“Roger, James and Aaron O'Boylan were of Coleraine, in Ire
land. Roger was prepared for the Church, did not preach but became
a teacher of a classical school. James and Aaron ran away from their
guardian, Roger, and worked their passage to New Jersey. James mar
ried Mary Annin and Aaron married Catherine Parkinson, the widow
of Richard Shillton. The Parkinsons were of Ireland. James had sev
eral children, who are of distant States. Aaron had two sons, James
and John.”
Miss Haywood, a living granddaughter of William Boylan, further
States :
“My grandfather told me that he had always heard that the little
boys had been left orphans with considerable property in Ireland under
the guardianship of their uncle, were unkindly treated and had run
away and hid on a ship and came to America as stowaways. There they
were sold by the captain of the vessel, and their uncle in Ireland, after
wards hearing of it, sent money to redeem them.”
It will be noticed that, in the first quotation, the surname is said to
be “O'Boylan,” but we doubt if this is correct. The name seems cer
tainly to have been Scotch, and not Irish, as such a surname would im
ply. However that may be, no such surname was used by the family in
America, and it is certain the early Boylans were Presbyterians and not
Roman Catholics.
Aaron Boylan married into the Parkinson family, of which we can
give no further particulars. He probably married her after his arrival
in New Jersey. In 1775 there was a Parkinson (or Parkison) of Somer
set, but we have obtained no further clue to the family.
In Lee's “Gen. and Mem. Hist. of N. J.” (p. 1462) there is a state
ment which, from lack of any other record, was naturally followed in
the QUARTERLY (Vol. I, p. 157), to the effect that Aaron Boylan had
come from Derry or Londonderry, New England, to New Jersey,
but this seems not to be authenticated by the town records of these two
places, and we now believe the statement was founded simply on the fact
that one of Aaron's sons, Dr. James Boylan, married a wife whose
parents came from Londonderry, N. H. (See under James (2) below).
It is quite certain, however, that Aaron sailed from the port of London
derry, Ireland, which is near Coleraine.
The date of Aaron's death is unknown, and mentions of him in our
local records are few. In 1756 he was a contributor to the building of
St. Paul's Lutheran church at Pluckemin (Snell's “History,” p. 716).
In 1763 his name is given as one to whom application could be made for
lottery tickets for the Bound Brook bridge, his residence, or perhaps
only his post-office address, being given as at Basking Ridge. (QUARTER
LY, Vol. III, p. 92). Previously, in 1754, an advertised letter in the
New York post-office was also addressed to him at Basking Ridge (“N. I.
Archives,” Vol. 19, p. 395). We have been unable to find any recorded
deed of any land owned by him.
What became of Aaron's brother James, who married into the
Annin family, is unknown; he must have gone to one of the adjoining
States, as William (18) stated his children were in other States.
In the memorandum of William Boylan above referred to, he states
that Aaron had two sons, James and John. This omits a son Aaron, and
does not mention daughters, of whom there were probably some, although
the name of one only has reached us, and we are not certain of its
2. JAMES, physician, b. Aug. 14, 1743 (old style); d. May 19, 1823;
m., about 1767, Ann Dunlop (dau. of Rev. Samuel Dunlop and Elizabeth
Guest), who was b. Jan. 17, 1746 (old style), and d. Jan. 9, 1831. The
father of Ann Dunlop and cousin of Aaron Boylan was a pastor in Lon
donderry, N. H., and went from there to Cherry Valley, N. Y., in 1741.
He and his wife, Elizabeth, were both Scotch-Irish, from Ireland. Dur
ing the Indian massacre at Cherry Valley in 1778 his wife was killed
in an inhuman manner (see various accounts of the Cherry Valley mas
sacre), whereupon he came to New Jersey, probably to reside with his
son-in-law, James Boylan. Dr. Boylan resided at Vealtown (Bernards
ville), Somerset co., where he not only practiced medicine but owned a
gristmill and 135% acres of land.
In various local histories Dr. Boylan is stated to have served in the
Revolutionary War, and the record referring to him is probably that
of the James Boylan who served as a corporal in Capt. Jacob Ten Eyck's
Co., and also in a Somerset battalion from Oct. 21 to Nov. 4, 1776." He
*The records at Trenton also show that another James Boylan served in Capt.
Jacob Ten Eyck's Co., enlisting in April, 1776, serving until Dec., 1779, when he
was taken prisoner and confined for two months. He was b. in 1755 and in 1832
was living at Batavia, Genesee co., N. Y. (as per Washington Pension records).
He may have been a son of James Boylan who immigrated with Aaron (1); if
not, we cannot identify him. There was also a James Boylan serving in Philadel
phia and Chester co. (Pa.) regiments as 1st Lieut. and Captain between 1783 and
1790. (Pa. Archives, 5th Series, Vol 5, pp. 842, 843).
is also said to have acted as surgeon to the wounded after the Battle of
Princeton; and it is suggested in Mellick’s “Story of an Old Farm”
(p. 4Io) that he was probably Lord Stirling's family physician. During
the winter of 1776-'77, when some stray British militiamen made a tem
porary raid into the northern part of Somerset, they took property of
his appraised at £25 (QUARTERLY, Vol. I, p. 282). He died in 1823
intestate, and he and his wife are said to have been buried in the Basking
Ridge churchyard, though the published tombstone inscriptions do not
record their names. (See QUARTERLY, Vol I, p. 125). A surgeon's
saw, said to have belonged to Dr. Boylan, is among the preserved relics
in the Washington Headquarters at Morristown. One of his sons went
to Cincinnati, O., and it is said a descendant of this son, Dr. Halsted
Boylan, is in Paris, France. (For ch., see infra).
3. JoHN, b. 1746; d. Mar. 4, 1793; m. Eleanor Hodge (dau. of
Samuel Hodge and Lyle, both probably Scotch-Irish, of Coleraine,
Ireland), f who was b. about 1751 and d. Feb. 3, 1846, when, after
being a widow for fifty-three years, she died at the age of 95. It is
stated that, at the time of her marriage, she was but fifteen years of
age (“Our Home,” p. 533), but this has not been verified.
“Captain” John Boylan (the name being then pronounced and oc
casionally spelled in print “Bullion”) usually went by that title during
his later life, although in 1777 he became a lay Judge of the Somerset
County Courts, after which he was properly “Judge” John. He was
a prosperous man during the Revolution having, it is said, four stores
in Bedminster and Bernards townships, viz., at Pluckemin, at Liberty
Corner, at Vealtown (Bernardsville) and at Vanderveer's Mills. (Snell,
p. 712; “Story of an Old Farm,” p. 582). In the statement made by his
son William, he says that Capt. Boylan first resided at Liberty Corner
and then removed to Pluckemin. That the Captain served for a brief
time as a Revolutionary private soldier appears from a record in the
Adjutant-General's office at Trenton, which states that “John Boylan
served as private in Capt. Gavin McCoy's Company, First Battalion, Som
erset co., N. J., militia.” He probably received his title of “Captain”
from service in the militia subsequent to the Revolution.
Further references to “Captain” Boylan are as follows: His son
William stated that he was a “merchant and publisher” when at Liberty
Corner. Of his being a “publisher” we have no other clue. Snell (p.
712) says he was an extensive manufacturer of potash and “is said to
tIn the “Story of an Old Farm” (p. 163), it is stated that his wife was the
daughter of Jacob Eoff, and from these authorities it was repeated in the QUAR
TERLY (Vol. V, p. 234). But his own son, William, stated otherwise, and we know
from other sources who she was. It was Samuel (15), a son of John, who married
into the Eoff family.
have entertained Washington in some of his visits to Pluckemin,” a
matter not improbable, as he and 'Squire McEowen were the two most
prominent men of that village while Washington's army was quartered
there. In the recent celebration (February 21, 1913) at Pluckemin of
the grand fete and ball commemorating the French Alliance, which was
held by Washington, Knox and other Generals at that place on February
18, 1779, the old house of Captain Boylan was opened for about seventy
five guests, and the present owner, Mr. Andrew Compton, with Mrs.
Martha Powelson, acted as General and Lady Washington, and “served
bountiful refreshments from a large centre table lighted with tallow
candles, and the blue ware used had seen service during the trying days
of the American Revolution.” (QUARTERLY, Vol. II, p. 154).” A pic
ture of the Boylan house at Pluckemin appeared in the QUARTERLY for
July, 1916. From various sources it can be gleaned that the Boylans
were acknowledged leaders in social affairs at Pluckemin and Vealtown
in Revolutionary days. A receipt in the Captain's own handwriting ap
pears in the “Story of an Old Farm” (p. 581), showing he wrote a busi
ness hand, and it was certain he was a man of education for that day.
Besides owning stores, he possessed 150 acres of land north of the vil
lage of Pluckemin. (See QUARTERLY, Vol. V, p. 234). In 1773 it is noted
that he was one of the managers of a “Lottery for the disposal of certain
lands in the township of Bridgewater.” (“N. J. Archives,” Vol. 28, p.
348). The exact object of this lottery we have not ascertained. He was
a man of wealth for those days. We know that he, and also his wife
Eleanor after his death, made many mortgage investments in Somerset,
as the records show. -
When Judge Boylan took his seat on the Somerset Bench it was be
side two distinguished men, who were lay Judges with him, Col. Peter
D. Vroom, father of the Governor, and Henry Southard (later Congress
man), father of the Hon. Samuel L. Southard.
Judge Boylan died March 4, 1793, when only 46 years of age, and
was buried in the old Basking Ridge church burying-ground, where there
**The late Mrs. Paul Vandervoort, of Burnt Mills, near Pluckemin (a grand
daughter of this John Boylan), who, before she died in 1916, was probably the
oldest living descendant of the line, stated some years ago that “General and Mrs.
Washington were several times entertained at Mr. Boylan's house, and Mrs. Boylan
had the honor of dancing with the General;” that “the white satin slippers and
square silver buckles which she wore in the dance are still preserved in the family;”
and that “the china buff and gold set, together with the silver service used in the
entertainment are or were in the home of Horace Bannard, of Long Branch.” At
the time of her death Mrs. Vandervoort was about 76 years of age, and certainly
obtained the facts from her mother, a daughter of John and Eleanor Boylan.
To Mrs. Van Dervoort descended many of Captain Boylan's books and his desk,
or secretary, a mahogany sideboard, etc., now possessed by her daughter, Mrs.
Noyes R. Thomas, of 88 S. 13th street, Newark, N. J.
is a tombstone to his memory. His widow Eleanor, by will dated Oct.
Io 1844, probated March 26, 1846 (Somerset Wills, Book F, p. 162),
mentioned only her daughters Sarah and Hannah and grandchildren
Sarah Jane and Mary Van Derveer, and gave her house and lot to her
son William, of Raleigh, N. C. (For ch., see infra).
4. AARON, b. 1749; d. Sept. 20, 1824. He also served in the Revo
lution, in Capt. John Parker's Company, First Battalion, Somerset Mili
tia; in the State Troops and in the Continental Army. Whom he mar
ried we do not know, but he doubtless removed soon after 18oo to
Mercer co., Pa., where he died, according to the War Department Pen
sion records, although, upon inquiry in Mercer county, we have found
no record of a will or administration upon his estate.
4a. ANN. No proof of this daughter, but we have been informed
that there was an Ann and that she died very young).
5. SAMUEL, b. 1768. He was living in Bedminster twsp. in 1798.
6. RoBERT, b. 1769. No further trace.
7. JoHN, b. 1771; d. 1847. He was probably a physician, like his
father, and certainly lived at Bernardsville. If a physician, he is the
same mentioned by Dr. McDowell in “Our Home” (p. 533), who tells the
anecdote of him that, when a man had broken his thigh and the doctor
was sent for in a hurry to set it, the latter had first to attend to a previ
ous call, and said to the messenger: “Wait a minute; take this emetic;
give it to the man, and I will be along shortly.” We have not learned
that he was married. By his will of Sept. 28, 1843, probated April 12,
1847 (Somerset Wills, Book F, p. 239), he left all his property to his
sister Catherine.
8. AARON, of Newark, N. J., b. Jan. 11, 1774; d. Dec. 21, 1858;
m., June 20, 1806, Phebe Breese (dau. of Stephen Breese and Nancy
Baily), who was b. Aug. 25, 1783, and d. Apr. 25, 1862. He studied law
with Hon. Aaron Ogden, of Elizabeth; was admitted to the New Jersey
Bar at the September Term, 1797. Practiced in Bernards twsp., Somer
set co., where he was owner of various tracts of land, until 1825, and
thereafter at Newark until his death. He had eight children, three of
whom, Aaron Ogden, David Kirkpatrick and James Harris, became
lawyers and practiced in Newark. One of the daughters of James Harris
Boylan, named Osee Melinda, m. John Driscoll Fitz-gerald, one of
whose sons was the late Methodist Bishop James Newbury Fitz-gerald,
who d. in China in 1907, while another, Aaron Ogden Fitz-gerald, is now
the head of the Fitz-gerald Company Varnish Works, of Newark. (This
particular family is carried out in Lee's “Gen. and Mem. Hist. of N. J.”).
9. HENRY, b. 1775; d. 1782.
Io. CATHERINE, b. 1778; d. about May, 1863; unm. She resided
at Bernardsville and owned considerable real estate, conveyed to her by
her father. She is said to have possessed the old family records, now
unfortunately missing. By her will she bequeathed her estate to her
adopted daughter, Margaret C., wife of Charles S. Quimby. (Somerset
Wills, Book H, p. 398).
II. JAMEs, b. 1778. No further trace.
12. JosePH, b. 1780. It is stated that a dau. of Joseph is still liv
ing, very aged, at Lebanon, Ohio, and that her daughter, a Mrs. Hart
well, resides at Little Rock, Ark.
13. BENJAMIN, of Basking Ridge, N.J., b. July 7, 1782; d. May 21,
1839; m. Elizabeth Alward (dau. of Benjamin Alward and Sarah Ayres).
He removed to Newark about 1832, but after his wife's death went to
Lebanon, Ohio, where he died. (For ch., see infra).
14. JAcob, b. 1789. No further trace.
(According to the late Dr. McDowell there were “fifteen chil
dren, most of whom lived to grow up.” (“Our Home,” p. 533). One
of these children, William (18), in the memorandum before referred
to, simply said: “John and Eleanor had children, to wit: Samuel, who
moved to the State of Ohio, where he died, leaving several children on
the Great Miami. William, John and Andrew, who moved to North
Carolina to their uncle, Abraham Hodge, the State Printer. Abraham
Hodge during the Revolution conducted the Whig Press of Samuel
Lowdon of the City of New York, and just before the close of the
Revolutionary war he conducted General Washington's traveling press
while the army was stationed at Valley Forge. Most of the daughters
of John and Eleanor Boylan are married and live in and about Plucke
min, except Margaret, the wife of James Shaw, the late sheriff of the
city of New York, and Lydia, who married Jacob Suydam, who removed
to the Great Miami in Ohio. He died, and she married Robert Lawrence,
of Cincinnati, merchant.”
It seems rather strange that all the children were not mentioned.
While we are unable to name or place all the fifteen children the fol
lowing fourteen (order uncertain) are given as a result of much cor
15. SAMUEL, b. 1768; m. Mary (dau. of Jacob and Mary Eoff,
of Pluckemin). She was previously the wife of Capt. Abram Van Ars
dale. Samuel was known as “Captain” Samuel, being captain of the 4th
Regiment of N. J. Infantry, which was sent to Western Pennsylvania
to aid in quelling the Whiskey Insurrection in 1794. He served from
Sept. 24. to Dec. 24 of that year. He was at one time collector of taxes
for Bedminster twsp. His daughter Maria m., Feb. 5, 1817, Jaquis O.
Quick, and resided at Flemington. As before stated, Samuel removed
(after 1811) to the Great Miami country, State of Ohio, where he left
various descendants. A Samuel Boylan (whether his son or not is un
known) of Pluckemin was a private in Capt. John Logan's Co., 3rd
Regiment, N. J. Detailed Militia, in the last war with Great Britain,
serving from Sept. 12, 1814, to Dec. 9, 1814.
I6. JoHN, who is said to have gone to North Carolina, but of whom
we have no further knowledge.
17. ABRAHAM HoDGE, who also removed to North Carolina with
his brother William and was unm.; was living in 1861, because mentioned
in the will of William (18).
18. WILLIAM, of Raleigh, N. C., b. Sept. 1, 1777; d. July 15, 1861.
(See full sketch of him and also ch., infra).
19. ELIZA; m. Oct. 23, 1811, Samuel Sloan, of Bedminster twsp.,
who went to Vicksburg, Mississippi. A son, William, lawyer, resided
and also d. at Vicksburg, Miss.
20. MARY, b. about 1781; d. Sept. 2, 1848, aged 67 years; m. (1)
Samuel Wilson, and (2), 1813, John Davenport, of Pluckemin, being
his second wife. Mr. Davenport was b. at Bury, Eng., in 1777, and d.
Sept. 18, 1830. He was the most prominent and enterprising business
man there of his day. She is said to have been a remarkably estimable
lady. They had six children: Margaret Davenport, who m. George
Van Nest and is living between Pluckemin and North Branch; John
Davenport, who m. Hester Voorhees; Thomas Davenport, of Somer
ville, who m. Frances Smith; Eleanor Davenport, who m. William L.
Jones; James S. Davenport, of Raritan, who m. Maria Remsen; and
Samuel W. Davenport, of Somerville, who m. Amelia Besteder. Thomas,
James S. and Samuel W. Davenport composed the firm of Davenport
Brothers, of New York City, which was noted in the china and glassware
business for forty years. By Samuel Wilson, Mary Boylan had one
son, Robert, who settled in the West.
21. SARAH, of Pluckemin, b. about 1776; d. Sept. 7, 1872, at the
age of 96; m., Dec. 1, 1830, Eli Parker, who d. Aug. 16, 1867, aged 76
yrs. There were no ch., but there was a step-son, John Parker, who
m. Sarah Parker's niece, Mary Van Derveer, dau. of Anne (26). Mrs.
Parker also adopted Mary Eugenia, her grandniece, named under (26).
22. HANNAH, of Pluckemin, b. about 1778; d. 1864, aged 86 yrs.;
unm. She resided with her sister Sarah.
23. LYDIA; m, Nov. 23, 1814, Jacob Suydam, and removed to the
Great Miami, Ohio. Had a son, Simon. After Mr. Suydam's death she
m. Robert Lawrence, a merchant of Cincinnati.
24. MARGARET, who m. James Shaw, once sheriff of the city of
New York. Had 5 ch.: (1) Rev. James Boylan Shaw, D. D., pastor of
the Brick Presbyterian church at Rochester, N. J., who was Moderator
of the Presbyterian General Assembly at Brooklyn in 1865. (2) Eliza,
who m. a Webster (said to have been a brother of Noah Webster, the
lexicographer), and d. at Pluckemin Dec. 19, 1871. She was highly
educated; is said to have been a classmate of Harriet Beecher Stowe at
Litchfield, Conn.; was at one time a school teacher in the “Dutchess”
neighborhood between Pluckemin and North Branch, and was a fine
musician. (3) Jane, who m. a Rev. Mr. Wyncoop. (4) William, who
was an insurance agent in New York City. (5) Son, name unknown.
(Order of foregoing uncertain).
25. CATHERINE, who m. a Wilson, cousin to Samuel Wilson (20).
Both died in New York City of yellow fever somewhere about 1802-'5.
Had two ch.: (1) Catherine, b. 1800; d. 1886; m. Peter Garretson, of
Burnt Mills, later of Pluckemin. When very young she was taken
to Raleigh, N. C., and brought up by her uncle William (18), but re
turned North before marriage. Mrs. Jane Gaston (widow of Hugh) of
Somerville is a living daughter. (2) John, who was also taken to
Raleigh and lived there. When grown up he went to New York with a
large amount of money to use for his uncle, William, and was never
heard from afterward; supposed to have been robbed and, perhaps,
25a. DAUGHTER, name unknown; m. a Ward and went West, had
a son, Boylan Ward.
26. ANNE, who m. Peter Van Derveer (probably son of John Van
Derveer and Jane Van Pelt), of Pluckemin. Their ch. were: (1) Sam
uel Van Derveer, of Pluckemin, b. 1820; d. Jan. 4, 1841; m. and had
ch. : Sarah Jane, who m. Sept. 11, 1859, John W. Teeple, and whose
dau, Mrs. William Henry Whittemore, resides at 12 N. 16th street, East
Orange; and Mary Eugenia (wife of Paul Van Dervoort, of Burnt Mills),
who d. July 27, 1916, aged about 76 yrs., whose two ch. are: Sarah Boy
lan, wife of Noyes R. Thomas, of 88 S. 13th street, Newark, N. J., and
Paul C. Van Dervoort, living at Burnt Mills. (2) John Van Derveer,
of Pluckemin; d. (after 1870); m. Margaret Collier and had ch.: John
C., who m. Margaret Blackwell Van Dervoort; Sarah, who m. Elias
Walk; Eliza, who m. Andrew Gulick, of Pluckemin; and Ann, who m.
John De Mott. (3) James Van Derveer, of Chester, who had a son
John, now living there. (4) William B., of Pluckemin. (5) Mary Van
Derveer, who m. John Parker (named under 21).
26a. ELEANOR (supposed); m. John T. West. It is said they went
to North Carolina. Both are mentioned in the will of her brother Wil
liam (18); also “my niece, Eleanor West.”
As the above Mr. William Boylan (18), a native of Somerset Coun
ty, N.J., became one of the most successful and influential of the noted
men of the State of North Carolina, it may interest our readers to have
more than the usual dates concerning him. From some of his descendants
and from Ashe’s “Biographical History of North Carolina,” published
in 1907, and a few other sources, we learn that Mr. Boylan, when a very
young man, went to North Carolina to work in the office of his uncle,
Abraham Hodge (brother to his mother, Eleanor Hodge). This uncle
was one of the State's early printers. Mr. Hodge first engaged in busi
ness at Newbern about January, 1775, when the firm of Hodge & Blanch
ard became publishers of the “State Gazette of North Carolina.” Later
the firm became Hodge & Wills, removing to Edenton about 1777 and
subsequently to Halifax, N. C., where they began publishing the “North
Carolina Journal,” in July, 1793. Another account states that Mr. Hodge
conducted, in the early part of the Revolutionary War, the Whig press
of Samuel Lowden, of New York City, and that just before the close of
the war he conducted a traveling press for General Washington, the
time of the latter being stated as “while the army was stationed at
Valley Forge.”
In 1797, when twenty years of age, William Boylan became a
member of the firm of Hodge & Boylan, publishing at Fayetteville the
“North Carolina Minerva” and the “Fayetteville Gazette.” The latter
newspaper was later removed to Raleigh and the name changed to the
“North Carolina Minerva and Raleigh Advertiser,” and afterwards simp
ly “The Minerva.”
It was about 1799 when Mr. Boylan became a citizen of Raleigh.
He opened a book store in addition to his newspaper business. For
many years Hodge & Boylan were printers to the State, and regularly
published Almanacs, as well as printed some miscellaneous books. An
early anecdote of him as almanac-maker is thus given by Governor
Swain in an address in 1867:
“Traveling from Raleigh to Pittsboro about 1800, he and Mr. Peace,
on reaching the election ground at Brassfields, found a multitude assem
bled engaged in dancing and other rural sports in the free and easy
manner characteristic of the time and place. Mr. Peace was compara
tively at home. Mr. Boylan stood aloof until a rowdy approached and
invited him to enter the ring with the dancers. On his declining, a
dozen came forward prepared to coerce the submission of the proud
aristocrat. In an instant Mr. Peace, with great solemnity, beckoned the
leader of the band aside and whispered: ‘My friend, be careful how
you act. Bless your life, that is Mr. Boylan, the man who made the
almanac, and can foretell eclipses and thunderstorms. The reference
to the almanac-maker secured at once the most deferential respect for
the distinguished visitor.”
In 1801 the Raleigh Academy was incorporated, Mr. Boylan becom
ing one of its Board of Trustees. In this famous school were afterward
educated William Rufus King, Vice-President of the United States,
Leonidas Polk, Bishop and Confederate General, and other men who at
tained distinction in public life. When the old capitol at Raleigh was
burned, on June 21, 1831, Mr. Boylan was appointed a commissioner on
the erection of a new building, which still stands, and which cost the
State $530,000. When the North Carolina Railroad Company was in
corporated in 1848, the State made a subscription of $2,000,000 condi
tioned on $1,000,000 being subscribed by individuals. The Governor of
the State, with Mr. Boylan and some others canvassed for the stock, but
when the plan was about to fail, Mr. Boylan, with great sacrifice but
high faith in the enterprise, subscribed for the untaken shares. His
labors in this direction received high encomiums. Mr. Boylan was also
the second president of the State Bank of North Carolina, succeeding
Colonel Polk, and was President of the Raleigh & Gaston R. R. Co., now
part of the great Seaboard Air Line Railway system of the South.
When Mr. Boylan, by his business ventures, had acquired a fortune,
he retired from editorial work and gave his newspaper outfit to his
bachelor brother, Abraham Hodge Boylan, who soon disposed of it.
Mr. Boylan owned plantations both in North Carolina and in Mississippi.
He raised the first cotton in Wake county, N. C., and at one time owned
over 1,000 slaves. At his death he left an estate of about $1,000,ooo,
which he had accumulated by his own industry and business sagacity.
The fine Boylan mansion was originally built by Col. Joel Lane, who
d. in 1795, when it became the property of one Browne, a lawyer, who
sold it, with a fine miscellaneous library, to Mr. Boylan in 1818. (A brief
account of a visit to this mansion by Dr. A. W. McDowell, of Pluckemin,
appeared in “Our Home” for 1873, p. 534).
Mr. Boylan was twice married: first, to Elizabeth Stokes McCul
loch, dau. of Benjamin McCulloch, of Halifax, N. C., and a granddau.
of Hon. Alexander McCulloch, member of the King's Council of North
Carolina in Colonial days; second, to Jane Elliott, who survived him. The
McCullochs were from Ireland and were related to Lord Macartney,
who was English Ambassador to China.
Mr. Boylan died at Raleigh in his 84th year, on July 15, 1861, and
was buried in the family plot in the old City Cemetery. On his monu
ment is the following epitaph:
“He removed in his early youth to North Carolina, where he resided
until his death, beloved and respected by all. He was a patriotic and
public-spirited man, and ardently devoted to the interests and improve
ment of his adopted State.”
It is stated that Mr. Boylan was “sedate and grave in manners to a
degree that, to a stranger, might have been taken for austerity.” But his
portrait, taken from an engraving (see frontispiece in this number), does
not show this, and it is certain he had a kind, warm heart, not only toward
the public but toward his relatives. He often made handsome presents
to his mother Eleanor Boylan, and was liberal to his sister, Mrs. Parker.
(See “Our Home,” p. 534). His will of June 18, 1858, with two
codicils, probated Nov. 18, 1861, in Wake county, N. C., was also record
ed in this (Somerset) county in order to give title to the real estate at
Pluckemin bequeathed to him by his mother and which he willed to his
sister, Sarah Parker. (Somerset Wills, Book L, p. 263). In this elab
orate will he mentions not only children and grandchildren, but, by
specific name, a large number of slaves. Besides the large bequests to
the widow and family, he devised his numerous plantations specified as
in Wake and Chatham cos., and at Cape Fear, N. C.; also in Yazoo co.,
Miss. To his unmarried daughter Catherine he gave his handsome dwell
ing house and plantation called “Wakefield,” with his library, etc.
Singularly enough, while Mr. Boylan had eleven children, yet of
his descendants, which were many, the only ones now to bear his surname
descend from his youngest son, William Montfort Boylan, of Raleigh.
27. ANN, who d. aged 22 yrs.
28. SARAH, who m. W. Huff, and resided in Newark. Ch.: (1)
Ferdinand; m. Emily Hulen; have ch. living in Newark. (2) James; m.
Adelaide Gardner. (3) William; m. Agnes Brown. (4) Frank, of
White Lake, N.Y.; m. Precilla Collins.
29. JoHN, of Newark, N. J.; m. Mary A. Graham (dau. of Guy
and Ann Graham). Ch.: (1) W. Cassius; d. aged 7 yrs. (2) Kate A.;
m. Eugene Ward; living in Newark, and has ch. Mary Eva and Eugene
Graham. (3) Eva; d. aged 11 yrs. (4) John F., of Madison, N. J.,
b. July 24, 1856; m. Elizabeth Guerin (dau. of S. T. Guerin, of Newark,
and Sarah Boyd), and had ch. Madeliene and Theodore, both deceased.
Mr. John F. Boylan is with Browning, King & Co., of New York City.
(5) William C., of Newark; unm.
-:30. WILLIAM L., who went to Melbourne, Australia, in 1849; m.
Charlotte A. Rhalves. Ch.: (1) SARAH; m. W. Moore. (2) CHAR
LoTTE; d. unm. (3) GEORGE R.; living in Brooklyn; m., first, Mary
Henshaw, and second, Emily Dana, and had ch. (by M. H.) RoBERT, and
(by E. D.) JoHN and MYRA.
31. JAMEs B.; m., first, Katherine S. Webster, and second, Mary F.
Weeks. Ch. (by K. S. W.) JAMEs B., Jr., of Hoboken, who m. Emma
Van Velsor, and had ch. BENJAMIN D., HENRY B. and RAYMOND; and
ELIZABETH, of Newark, who m. J. D. Orton.
32. JoHN HoDGE, of Chatham co., N. C., b. Jan. 5, 1803; d. 1870;
33. ALEXANDER MCCULLOCH, b. Aug. 16, 1804; d. Oct., 1834; m.
PLEASANTS, who m. Cooper, of Tennessee, and had one ch., Kate
Weldon Cooper.
34. WILLIAM, b. July 2, 1806; d. 1828; unm.
35. BENJAMIN McCULLOCH, b. Apr. 14, 1808; d. 1809.
36. ELEANOR ELIZA, b. Feb. 12, 1810; d. Aug., 1848; unm.
37. SAMUEL McCULLocH, b. Nov. 22, 1812; d. 1845; m. Mary
Collins, of Mississippi. Had one son, John, who d. 1870.
38. MARY ADELAIDE, b. Nov. 2, 1814; d. 1825.
39. JAMEs, b. Oct. 26, 1816; d. 1842; unm.
40. CATHERINE, b. Aug. 25, 1818; d. 1895; unm.
41. SARAH, b. Dec. 10, 1820; d. 1821.
42. WILLIAM MonTFORT, of Raleigh, N. C., b. Sept. 5, 1822; d.
Feb. 3, 1899; m. Mary Kinsey, of Newbern, N. C. This Mr. Boylan was
a successful planter, occupying a beautiful home surrounded by hun
dreds of acres of land on the outskirts of the city of Raleigh. “He was
handsome in appearance and possessed of those splendid traits of charac
ter and disposition which made him one of Raleigh's best-known and
most popular citizens.” (For ch., see infra).
43. JANE ELLIOTT, b. Feb. 28, 1833; m. William E. Green.
44. JAMEs, b. 1842; d. May 14, 1905; m. Margaret Tucker. He
was a successful merchant, leaving a fine business conducted at present
by his oldest son, William Montfort Boylan, under the firm name of
Boylan, Pearce and Co. “James Boylan was known and loved by all
classes of people in Wake county.” (For ch., see infra).
45. WILLIAM, of Raleigh, N. C., b. 1844; d. 1914; m. Placide
Engelhard. Ch.: (1) WILLIAM; d. unm. (2) JosePHINE ENGELHARD;
m. Ellsworth Van Patten, and has ch., Ellsworth, Jr.
46. MARY ALICE, b. June 9, 1847; m. Joseph A. Haywood, of
Raleigh. Ch.: (1) William Boylan Haywood, b. Sept. 13, 1870; d.
aged 16 yrs. (2) Martha Helen Haywood, b. Sept. 27, 1872; living
at 21o S. Boylan Ave., Raleigh, founder and editor of the “North
Carolina Booklet.” We are indebted to her for much data concerning
this North Carolina branch. (3) Catherine Haywood, b. Sept. 7, 1876;
m. Jan. 10, 1900, Benjamin W. Baker, and has ch., Katherine Boylan
Haywood Baker, b. Mar. 24, 1902, and Elizabeth Whitely Baker, b. July
30, 1904. (4) Elsie Bryan Haywood, b. Aug. 13, 1881.
47. ELIZABETH McCULLocH, b. 1848; m. George H. Snow, of
Raleigh, N. C. Ch.: (1) Mary Boylan Snow, b. Mar. 18, 1872; m.
Charles Baskerville, and has ch. : Charles, now at Cornell University,
and Elizabeth McCulloch. (2) William Boylan Snow, b. Mar. 12, 1873;
m. Alice Stronach, and has ch., William Boylan and John Kennall. Sen
ator Snow is an active and successful lawyer, who has been County At
torney for Wake co., City Attorney of Raleigh, State Senator, and is
at present Prosecuting Attorney in the City Court of Raleigh. (3)
George Hodge Snow, b. Mar. 17, 1875; who d. unm. (4) Adelaide
Boylan Snow, b. Mar. 1, 1880; m. Francis Cloud Boylston, of Charleston,
S. C. Ch.: Adelaide Boylan Snow Boylston, b. Oct. 27, 1905.
48. BENJAMIN; d. young.
49. FLORENCE TUCKER; d. unm.
50. MARY KINSEY; m. Steadman Thompson, of Raleigh, N. C., and
had ch., George and James.
51. MARGARET JoRDAN; m. Claiborne Carr, of Durham, N. C., and
had ch., Claiborne, Montfort, Boylan and John Wesley.
53. KATHERINE; unm.
54. RUFUs TUCKER; unm.; now with the Raleigh Banking &
Trust Co. We are also indebted to him for facts and courtesies in the
preparation of this article.
In addition to the foregoing Boylans, we have found on Somerset
records, without being able to certainly place, the following members of
the family, all of Bedminster or Bernards twsps.:
John Bullion (doubtless Boylan), who m., Feb. 28, 1815, Betsey
Blair. -
Joseph Bullions (perhaps Boylan), who m., Jan. 2, 1823, Jane
Ann Boylan, who d. Oct. 5, 1845, aged 51 yrs, I mo., 16 dys.
(Grave at Basking Ridge).
Mary Boylan, who m., Dec. 30, 1846, Freeman Ayres.
Lavinia Boylan, who m. Jan. 24, 1833, Daniel D. Reader. (Mar
riage by Rev. John Kirkpatrick).
William R. Boylan, who, on Dec. 21, 1807, mortgaged one acre of
land in Bernards twsp. to John Smith. (Somerset Mortg., Book G, p.
Jonathan Boylan and Catherine, his wife, who, on Mar. 12, 1828,
mortgaged 34 acre of land at Liberty Corner to Nathan Compton. (Som
erset Mortg., Book J, p. 508).
That the name was pronounced “Bullion” in Somerset even fifty
years ago is certain, as a lady now living testifies.
The Boylan name remained in Ireland at least a century after the
coming to Somerset county of Aaron Boylan, as is proven by the fact
that a William H. Boylan, architect, now residing in New Brunswick,
states that his father, William Boylan, came over from County Kildare,
Ireland, about 1835. He died in 1881, aged about 85.
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